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03.06.2019 Europe

Eleventh French jihadist sentenced to death in Iraq

JUN 3, 2019 EUROPE

A court in Iraq has sentenced to death two more French jihadists, taking to 11 the total facing capital punishment for joining and fighting for the Islamic State armed group. An appeal process could take years.

The two final French nationals on trial in Baghdad for joining the Islamic State (IS) group were sentenced to death on Monday. 

The have 30 days to appeal the sentences.

Iraq's authorities are holding hundreds of foreign IS members captured on its soil.

French Foreign Affairs minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said France was intensifying diplomatic efforts to prevent its citizens from being executed in Iraq.

France opposes the death penalty. It has however been adamant that it would not seek the repatriation of it citizens who joined IS, arguing they should face justice in the countries where they were accused of crimes.

A group of prominent French lawyers said that the execution of French jihadists on death row would be a disgrace for France.

"We have taken an historic risk, which, if it is realised, will leave an indelible stain on the mandate of (President) Emmanuel Macron," said the lawyers, who include William Bourdon, Henri Leclerc and Vincent Brengarth.

"It would mean allowing a legal assassination which is now proscribed by the majority of countries on the planet," wrote a group of 45 lawyers in an open letter on the website of the radio station, France Info.